Server Based Computing vs. Standard Network Computing
With a normal office network, every user has a fairly powerful computer on which they run software. The server is used for central file storage and specific tasks such as file exchange and internet access. With server-based computing, every user has a much smaller terminal - or workstation - and all their day-to-day software is run from the server. Each terminal is little more than a screen and keyboard, although it can be an existing PC (an old one at that).
There are Plenty of Benefits :
Financial benefits are clear, because each terminal is smaller and less expensive than a PC. Thus you will always save money with every new employee. With Server Based Computing there are also security benefits: because you centrally control all the software to which your employees have access, and so you will have a much lower risk of viruses or unwanted software. Not least, there will be Facilities management benefits: because employees can access their files and software from any terminal, and so you can easily move staff between desks with no downtime. Finally, there are obvious maintenance benefits: all the hard work is done on the server. So system maintenance is largely done in one place, on one machine.
Server Based computing: Example:
A company has three branches. Previously it had to employ or contract IT maintenance staff at all three locations when computers needed fixing. With server-based computing, IT staff are only needed on one site. Plus, in the rare event that a terminal collapses at one of the other sites, staff can continue working just by switching terminals, so there is no urgent need for a replacement unit.
Home-Working Benefits :
As you would expect, the tried and tested security and software management tools can be applied to home-working too; making remote working a true reality- with server based computing, staff can work from home and truly have access to the same files and software they have at the office.
Business Continuity Benefits :
SBC is also an ideal business continuity solution- should your office become unusable due to flood, fire or other event, you can be up-and-running elsewhere, or even at home, in a matter of minutes.
How Different Does Server Based Computing Look?
Server-based computing (SBC) does not mean you have to sacrifice the software you are familiar with. There is no need to retrain staff- everything can be set up to look exactly as it did before. Migration to a server-based solution is designed to be seamless, invisible to the user, with all software working as before.
It is possible, of course, to specify an upgrade path, including an Enhanced Desktop option - which provide additional functions, there for when you want them. A major plus is the possibility of a Web Interface, providing you with your office desktop at home; or wherever else you would like it. How much better could you present at a client's office, if the screen looked just like the one at your desk!
Jimi St. Pierre writes for several Office IT Equipment suppliers in the UK, including office server supplier Officemagic. The Officemagic range of IT products including desktops, laptops and peripherals can be found at => http://www.officemagic.co.uk/